Worlds biggest online Doctor appointment booking site finds THE FEATURE THAT PATIENTS MOST WANT is the ability to share information electronically BEFORE they meet with a Doctor

Ki Mae Heussner at Gigaom reports on how ZocDoc, the New York-based service that enables patients to discover nearby Doctors and book appointments with them, has announced the launch of “ZocDoc Check-In” – its first new product since the service was launched in 2007.

So far there’s no suggestion that the information sharing will involve interactive patient history taking tools (like the advanced versions used at the Mayo Clinic or here at 3G Doctor) but I can’t see that ZocDoc (a Health 2.0 firm that has been valued at $700 million and has already raised $95 million from a range of investors that have included A and B round funds from mHealth device and big data backers Khosla Ventures) will be content for very long with just replacing the paper clipboard with a static digital alternative.

As US interstate Doctor licensing eventually gets fixed I imagine ZocDoc will be well placed to expand from offering bookings for in-person appointments with local Doctors to serve the many opportunities that will emerge to serve those patients who already have their own personal electronic health records or could be effectively be served with documented consultations from remote Doctors (in Dr John Bachman’s Mayo Clinic Proceedings published research from 2010 it was shown that through the use of advanced interactive patient history taking tools as many as 40% of in-office appointments could be effectively served without the need to meet with the Doctor in their office).

I can imagine home/remote working opportunities would be very attractive to a much wider group of US Doctors and I wonder if the profile of the Doctors who pay to market themselves on ZocDoc will change substantially as a result of these new opportunities?

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